Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) is now offering vaccinations that provide protection against pertussis (whooping cough) at all of its more than 600 stores throughout the state, as the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is urging vaccination with the state reaching epidemic levels of reported whooping cough cases. Vaccinations are available daily during all pharmacy hours with no appointment necessary and are covered by most insurance plans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection primarily affecting young children. Teens and adults whose immunity has faded are also at risk. CDPH says there have been more than 3,400 whooping cough cases reported in 2014, well ahead of the number of cases reported all of last year. There have been more than 800 cases reported in the last two weeks alone 1.
“We support the recommendations of health officials and stress that vaccination is the best protection people can get from whooping cough,” said Sepi Soleimanpour, California market pharmacy director for Walgreens. “Walgreens pharmacists continue to play an important role in providing more convenient access to vaccinations and other preventive services to help Californians get, stay and live well.”
Walgreens pharmacists in California can administer immunizations to anyone age 10 and older.The CDPH recommends the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) vaccine for the following groups 2:
- Pregnant women and infants 6 weeks and older
- All adults who provide care to infants and adults living in a household with an infant, including adults age 65 and older
- Preadolescents (ages 7-10 years) who are not up to date on pertussis vaccinations and who are living in a household with an infant